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Dramatic orientation shift of white-crowned sparrows displaced across longitudes in the high Arctic
Responsible organisation
2005 (English)In: Current Biology, Vol. 15, no 17, 1591-1597 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Advanced spatial-learning adaptations have been shown for migratory songbirds (1], but it is not well known how the simple genetic program encoding migratory distance and direction in young birds [2-4] translates to a navigation mechanism used by adults [2, 4-6]. A number of convenient cues are available to define latitude on the basis of geomagnetic and celestial information [7-15], but very few are useful to defining longitude [12-15]. To investigate the effects of displacements across longitudes on orientation, we recorded orientation of adult and juvenile migratory white-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, after passive longitudinal displacements, by ship, of 266-2862 km across high-arctic North America. After eastward displacement to the magnetic North Pole and then across the 0 degrees declination line, adults and juveniles abruptly shifted their orientation from the migratory direction to a direction that would lead back to the breeding area or to the normal migratory route, suggesting that the birds began compensating for the displacement by using geomagnetic cues alone or together with solar cues. In contrast to predictions by a simple genetic migration program, our experiments suggest that both adults and juveniles possess a navigation system based on a combination of celestial and geomagnetic information, possibly declination, to correct for eastward longitudinal displacements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 15, no 17, 1591-1597 p.
Keyword [en]
SWEDARCTIC 1999, Tundra Northwest 1999, migratory birds, magnetic orientation, sparrows, Zonotricha leucophys gambelii, Arctic, Canada, magnetic North Pole
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
SWEDARCTIC 1999, Tundra nordväst 1999
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-1790DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.07.027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-1790DiVA: diva2:569928
Note

Source: Polardok by Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

Available from: 2012-11-15 Created: 2012-11-15 Last updated: 2016-11-25

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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